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Publication numberUS7464247 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/311,811
Publication dateDec 9, 2008
Filing dateDec 19, 2005
Priority dateDec 19, 2005
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20070143564
Publication number11311811, 311811, US 7464247 B2, US 7464247B2, US-B2-7464247, US7464247 B2, US7464247B2
InventorsRadha Krishna Uppala
Original AssigneeYahoo! Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System and method for updating data in a distributed column chunk data store
US 7464247 B2
Abstract
An improved system and method for importing update data in a distributed column chunk data store is provided. A distributed column chunk data store may be provided by multiple storage servers operably coupled to a network. A storage server provided may include a database engine for partitioning a data table into the column chunks for distributing across multiple storage servers, a storage shared memory for storing the column chunks during processing of semantic operations performed on the column chunks, and a storage services manager for striping column chunks of a partitioned data table across multiple storage servers. Any data table may be flexibly partitioned into column chunks using one or more columns with various partitioning methods. Update data may then be incrementally imported as separate column chunks that may later be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table.
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Claims(20)
1. A computer-implemented method for importing update data to a partitioned data table in a computer system, comprising:
partitioning a data table into column chunks for storing on one or more storage servers;
creating at least one additional column chunk for importing update data to the partitioned data table; and
storing the at least one column chunk of the update data to the partitioned data table on the one or more storage servers.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein creating at least one additional column chunk for importing update data to the partitioned data table comprises determining a partition number associated with the at least one additional column chunk.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein creating at least one additional column chunk for importing update data to the partitioned data table comprises partitioning the update data into column chunks.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein partitioning the update data into column chunks comprises using the same number of partitions as the partitioned data table.
5. The method of claim 3 wherein partitioning the update data into column chunks comprises using fewer partitions than the partitioned data table.
6. The method of claim 3 further comprising creating a column chunk for storing the partition numbers keys from partitioning the update data into column chunks.
7. The method of claim 3 further comprising distributing the column chunks from partitioning the update data among the one or more storage servers.
8. The method of claim 1 further comprising merging the at least one column chunk of the update data with another column chunk of update data to the partitioned data table.
9. The method of claim 8 further comprising determining whether to partition the merged column chunks of update data.
10. The method of claim 9 further comprising partitioning the merged column chunks of update data.
11. The method of claim 10 further comprising determining whether to merge the merged column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising merging the merged column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein merging the merged column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table comprises:
applying changes from the merged column chunks of the updated data to the column chunks of the partitioned data table; and
storing the column chunks of the partitioned data table with the changes applied on the one or more storage servers.
14. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 1.
15. A computer-implemented method for importing update data to a partitioned data table in a computer system, comprising:
partitioning a data table into column chunks for storing on one or more storage servers;
applying changes to at least one column chunk for importing update data to the partitioned data table; and
storing the at least one column chunk with the changes applied on the one or more storage servers.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein applying changes to at least one column chunk for importing update data to the partitioned data table comprises determining a key associated with a row of update data for the partitioned data table.
17. The method of claim 15 wherein applying changes to at least one column chunk for importing update data to the partitioned data table comprises decompressing at least one column chunk of the partitioned data table that stores data indexed by the key associated with the row of update data for applying changes indicated in the row of the update data.
18. The method of claim 17 further comprising applying data domain compression to the at least one column chunk of the partitioned data table after applying changes in the row of the update data.
19. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 15.
20. A computer-implemented method for importing update data to a partitioned data table in a computer system, comprising:
partitioning a data table into column chunks for storing on one or more storage servers;
creating at least one additional column chunk for importing update data to the partitioned data table;
merging the at least one additional column chunk of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table by applying the update data to the column chunks of the partitioned data table; and
storing the column chunks with the applied update data on the one or more storage servers.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention is related to the following U.S. patent applications, filed concurrently herewith and incorporated herein in their entireties:

“System and Method for Adding a Storage Server to a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/305,916;

“System and Method for Removing a Storage Server in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/305,963;

“System and Method for Recovering from Failure of a Storage Server in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/311,510;

“System for Query Processing of Column Chunks in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/305,998;

“System of a Hierarchy of Servers for Query Processing of Column Chunks in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/311,825;

“Method for Query Processing of Column Chunks in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/305,997;

“Method Using Query Processing Servers for Query Processing of Column Chunks in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/305,915; and

“Method Using a Hierarchy of Servers for Query Processing of Column Chunks in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/305,958.

The present invention is also related to the following copending U.S. patent applications filed Sep. 13, 2005, assigned to the assignee of the present invention, and hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties:

“System for a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/226,606;

“Method for a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/226,667; and

“System and Method for Compression in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store,” U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/226,668.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to computer systems, and more particularly to an improved system and method for updating data in a distributed column chunk data store.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Distributed storage systems implemented either as a distributed database or a distributed file system fail to scale well for data mining and business intelligence applications that may require fast and efficient retrieval and processing of large volumes of data. Distributed databases for large volumes of data, perhaps on the order of terabytes, may be traditionally implemented across several servers, each designed to host a portion of a database and typically storing a particular table of data. In some implementations, such a system may also store a horizontally partitioned table of data on one or more servers. For instance, the technique known as horizontal partitioning may be used to store a subset of rows of data in a table resident on a storage server. Queries for retrieving data from the distributed storage system may then be processed by retrieving rows of data having many associated columns of datum for which only one or few columns may be needed to process the query. As a result, the storage and retrieval of data in these types of systems is inefficient, and consequently such systems do not scale well for handling terabytes of data.

Typical transaction processing systems using a distributed database likewise fail to scale well for data mining and business intelligence applications. Such systems may characteristically have slower processing speed during a failed transaction. During transaction processing a failed transaction may become abandoned and the database may be rolled back to a state prior to the failed transaction. Such database implementations prove inefficient for updating large data sets on the order of gigabytes or terabytes.

Distributed file systems are also inadequate for storage and retrieval of data for data mining and business intelligence applications. First of all, distributed file systems may only provide low-level storage primitives for reading and writing data to a file. In general, such systems fail to establish any semantic relationships between data and files stored in the file system. Unsurprisingly, semantic operations for data storage and retrieval such as redistributing data, replacing storage, and dynamically adding additional storage are not available for such distributed file systems.

What is needed is a way for providing data storage, query processing and retrieval for large volumes of data perhaps in the order of hundreds of terabytes for data warehousing, data mining and business intelligence applications. Any such system and method should allow the use of common storage components without requiring expensive fault-tolerant equipment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, the present invention may provide a system and method for updating data into a distributed column chunk data store. A distributed column chunk data store may be provided by multiple storage servers operably coupled to a network. A client executing an application may also be operably coupled to the network. A storage server provided may include a database engine for partitioning a data table into column chunks for distributing across multiple storage servers, a storage shared memory for storing the column chunks during processing of semantic operations performed on the column chunks, and a storage services manager for striping column chunks of a partitioned data table across multiple storage servers.

The database engine may include a loading services module for importing data into a data table partitioned into column chunks, a query services module for receiving requests for processing data stored as column chunks striped across multiple storage servers, a metadata services module for managing metadata about the column chunks striped across the plurality of storage servers, a transaction services module for maintaining the integrity of the information about semantic operations performed on the column chunks, and a storage services proxy module for receiving storage services requests and sending the requests for execution by the storage services manager. The storage services manager may include compression services for compressing the column chunks before storing to the column chunk data store and transport services for sending one or more compressed or uncompressed column chunks to another storage server.

Advantageously, a data table may be flexibly partitioned into column chunks using one or more columns as a key with various partitioning methods, including range partitioning, list partitioning, hash partitioning, and/or combinations of these partitioning methods. There may also be a storage policy for specifying how to partition a data table for distributing column chunks across multiple servers, including the number of column chunks to create. The storage policy may also specify the desired level of redundancy of column chunks for recovery from failure of one or more storage servers storing the column chunks. The storage policy may also specify how to assign column chunks to available storage servers. There may be a storage policy for each data table that may be different from the storage policy for another data table and may specify a different method for partitioning the data table into column chunks, a different level of redundancy for recovery from failure of one or more servers, and/or a different method for distributing the column chunks among the multiple storage servers.

The invention may partition any type of data table into column chunks for distributing across multiple storage servers. Update data for a partitioned data table may then be imported into the distributed column chunk data store. To do so, update data for the partitioned data table may be incrementally stored as one or more column chunks separate from the column chunks of the partitioned data table. As additional update data to the partitioned data table may be incrementally imported into the distributed column chunk store, a column chunk of update data imported previously may be merged with a column chunk of update data being imported. Subsequently, such a merged column chunk of update data may be split into multiple column chunks using fewer partitions than the column chunks of the partitioned data table. If the cost of retrieving the column chunks of update data may exceed the cost of merging the column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table, then the column chunks of update data may be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table.

Other advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram generally representing a computer system into which the present invention may be incorporated;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram generally representing an exemplary architecture of system components for a column chunk data store, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for storing column chunks among multiple storage servers in the column chunk data store, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for partitioning a data table into column chunks, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for importing update data to the column chunk data store, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for determining the number of partitions for creating one or more column chunks for the update data, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in an embodiment for creating column chunks for the update data using a fewer number of partitions than the partitioned data table, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in an embodiment for merging column chunks created for the update data, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in an embodiment for merging column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table, in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Exemplary Operating Environment

FIG. 1 illustrates suitable components in an exemplary embodiment of a general purpose computing system. The exemplary embodiment is only one example of suitable components and is not intended to suggest any limitation as to the scope of use or functionality of the invention. Neither should the configuration of components be interpreted as having any dependency or requirement relating to any one or combination of components illustrated in the exemplary embodiment of a computer system. The invention may be operational with numerous other general purpose or special purpose computing system environments or configurations.

The invention may be described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by a computer. Generally, program modules include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, and so forth, which perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. The invention may also be practiced in distributed computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed computing environment, program modules may be located in local and/or remote computer storage media including memory storage devices.

With reference to FIG. 1, an exemplary system for implementing the invention may include a general purpose computer system 100. Components of the computer system 100 may include, but are not limited to, a CPU or central processing unit 102, a system memory 104, and a system bus 120 that couples various system components including the system memory 104 to the processing unit 102. The system bus 120 may be any of several types of bus structures including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures. By way of example, and not limitation, such architectures include Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus, Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) bus, Enhanced ISA (EISA) bus, Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) local bus, and Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus also known as Mezzanine bus.

The computer system 100 may include a variety of computer-readable media. Computer-readable media can be any available media that can be accessed by the computer system 100 and includes both volatile and nonvolatile media. For example, computer-readable media may include volatile and nonvolatile computer storage media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Computer storage media includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical disk storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and which can accessed by the computer system 100. Communication media may also embodies computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media. The term “modulated data signal” means a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. For instance, communication media includes wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, RF, infrared and other wireless media.

The system memory 104 includes computer storage media in the form of volatile and/or nonvolatile memory such as read only memory (ROM) 106 and random access memory (RAM) 110. A basic input/output system 108 (BIOS), containing the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within computer system 100, such as during start-up, is typically stored in ROM 106. Additionally, RAM 110 may contain operating system 112, application programs 114, other executable code 116 and program data 118. RAM 110 typically contains data and/or program modules that are immediately accessible to and/or presently being operated on by CPU 102.

The computer system 100 may also include other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media. By way of example only, FIG. 1 illustrates a hard disk drive 122 that reads from or writes to non-removable, nonvolatile magnetic media, and storage device 134 that may be an optical disk drive or a magnetic disk drive that reads from or writes to a removable, a nonvolatile storage medium 144 such as an optical disk or magnetic disk. Other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media that can be used in the exemplary computer system 100 include, but are not limited to, magnetic tape cassettes, flash memory cards, digital versatile disks, digital video tape, solid state RAM, solid state ROM, and the like. The hard disk drive 122 and the storage device 134 may be typically connected to the system bus 120 through an interface such as storage interface 124.

The drives and their associated computer storage media, discussed above and illustrated in FIG. 1, provide storage of computer-readable instructions, executable code, data structures, program modules and other data for the computer system 100. In FIG. 1, for example, hard disk drive 122 is illustrated as storing operating system 112, application programs 114, other executable code 116 and program data 118. A user may enter commands and information into the computer system 100 through an input device 140 such as a keyboard and pointing device, commonly referred to as mouse, trackball or touch pad tablet, electronic digitizer, or a microphone. Other input devices may include a joystick, game pad, satellite dish, scanner, and so forth. These and other input devices are often connected to CPU 102 through an input interface 130 that is coupled to the system bus, but may be connected by other interface and bus structures, such as a parallel port, game port or a universal serial bus (USB). A display 138 or other type of video device may also be connected to the system bus 120 via an interface, such as a video interface 128. In addition, an output device 142, such as speakers or a printer, may be connected to the system bus 120 through an output interface 132 or the like computers.

The computer system 100 may operate in a networked environment using a network 136 to one or more remote computers, such as a remote computer 146. The remote computer 146 may be a personal computer, a server, a router, a network PC, a peer device or other common network node, and typically includes many or all of the elements described above relative to the computer system 100. The network 136 depicted in FIG. 1 may include a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), or other type of network. Such networking environments are commonplace in offices, enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets and the Internet. In a networked environment, executable code and application programs may be stored in the remote computer. By way of example, and not limitation, FIG. 1 illustrates remote executable code 148 as residing on remote computer 146. It will be appreciated that the network connections shown are exemplary and other means of establishing a communications link between the computers may be used.

Updating Data in a Distributed Column Chunk Data Store

The present invention is generally directed towards a system and method for importing update data into a distributed column chunk data store. More particularly, the present invention provides multiple storage servers operably coupled by a network for storing distributed column chunks of partitioned data tables. Any data table may be partitioned into column chunks and the column chunks may then be distributed for storage among multiple storage servers. To do so, a data table may be flexibly partitioned into column chunks by applying various partitioning methods using one or more columns as a key, including range partitioning, list partitioning, hash partitioning, and/or combinations of these partitioning methods. Update data for a partitioned data table may then be incrementally imported into the distributed column chunk data store by storing one or more column chunks of update data separate from the column chunks of the partitioned data table.

When additional update data to the partitioned data table may be incrementally imported into the distributed column chunk store, a column chunk of update data imported previously may be merged with a column chunk of update data being imported. As will be seen, if the cost of retrieving the column chunks of update data may exceed the cost of merging the column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table, then the column chunks of update data may be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table. As will be understood, the various block diagrams, flow charts and scenarios described herein are only examples, and there are many other scenarios to which the present invention will apply.

Turning to FIG. 2 of the drawings, there is shown a block diagram generally representing an exemplary architecture of system components for a distributed column chunk data store. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the functionality implemented within the blocks illustrated in the diagram may be implemented as separate components or the functionality of several or all of the blocks may be implemented within a single component. For example, the functionality for the storage services manager 226 may be included in the same component as the database engine 208. Or the functionality of transport services 232 may be implemented as a separate component.

As used herein, a column chunk data store may mean a large distributed system of operably coupled storage servers, each capable of storing column chunks. In various embodiments, one or more applications 202 may be operably coupled to one or more storage servers 206 by a network 204. The network 204 may be any type of network such as a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), or other type of network. In general, an application 202 may be any type of executable software code such as a kernel component, an application program, a linked library, an object with methods, and so forth. In one embodiment, an application may execute on a client computer or computing device, such as computer system environment 100 of FIG. 1 which may be operably coupled to one or more storage servers 206 by the network 204. An application 202 may include functionality for querying the column chunk data store to retrieve information for performing various data mining or business intelligence operations, such as computing segment membership, performing some aggregation of data including summarization, and so forth.

A storage server 206 may be any type of computer system or computing device such as computer system environment 100 of FIG. 1. The storage server may provide services for performing semantic operations on column chunks such as redistributing data, replacing storage, and/or adding storage and may use lower-level file system services in carrying out these semantic operations. A storage server 206 may include a database engine 208 storage shared memory 222, and a storage services manager 226. Each of these modules may also be any type of executable software code such as a kernel component, an application program, a linked library, an object with methods, or other type of executable software code.

The database engine 208 may be responsible, in general, for communicating with an application 202, communicating with the storage server to satisfy client requests, accessing the column chunk data store, and communicating with the storage services manager 226 for execution of storage operations, including accessing column chunks 224 in storage shared memory 220. The database engine 208 may include load services 210, query services 212, metadata services 214, transaction services 216 and a storage services proxy 218. Load services 210 may be used for importing data into the data tables. Query services 212 may process received queries by retrieving the data from the storage services manager 226 and processing the retrieved data. The load services 210 and query services 212 may communicate with the metadata services 214 and transaction services 216 using a communication mechanism such as inter-process communication. Each of these services may in turn communicate with the storage services proxy 218 to request services such as retrieving and loading column chunks into storage shared memory 220. The storage services proxy 218 may receive storage read and write requests and pass the requests off to the storage services manager 226 to execute the request.

The metadata services 214 may provide services for the configuration of the storage servers and may manage metadata for the database engine and the column chunk data store. The metadata may include, for example, data tables that reflect the current state of the system including the name of each server configured in the system, the load on each server, the bandwidth between servers, and many other variables maintained in the data tables. There may be dynamically updated tables and static tables of data. Static tables of data may include configuration tables, the defined logical tables, policies that may apply for partitioning the data table and storage distribution, and so forth. Some tables, such as configuration tables, may be generated dynamically by the system based upon system configuration. The metadata services 214 may include services to dynamically update metadata, such as configuration tables. In addition, metadata services 214 may include services to add or update fixed metadata such as adding new logical data table definitions or updating an existing logical data table definition.

The transaction services 216 may be responsible for maintaining active transactions in the system and may provide various services such as identifying and loading the appropriate version of column chunks. The transaction services 216 can also notify metadata services to update or commit metadata relating to a specific transaction. Generally, a transaction may include semantic operations that modify the system or that may be performed on data, including data loading, data optimization, data retrieval, updating existing data table, creating new tables, modifying the data schema, creating a new storage policy, partitioning data tables, recording the column chunk distribution in storage servers, and so forth. For each transaction such as incrementally updating a data table, there may be an indication of a start of a transaction and end of transaction when the update of the data table completes. Other examples of transactions may be executing a query, including generating intermediate data tables or other data tables, or optimizing storage of column chunks. To do so, the query services may use transaction services to process a query and the storage services manager may use transactions services while optimizing column chunk storage.

The storage shared memory 220 of the storage server 206 may include low level metadata 222 and column chunks 224. The low level metadata may include information about physical storage, such as the file name and server name where a column chunk may be located, what the compressed size of a column chunk may be, what the uncompressed size of a column chunk may be, what the checksum on a column chunk may be for verifying that the column chunk is not corrupted on the disk storage, and so forth. The storage services manager 226 may generate low level metadata 222 by using the metadata such as policies, server configurations, resources available in metadata to generate physical storage for column chunks.

The storage services manager 226 may include a local storage services manager 228 that may provide compression services 230 and transport services 232. The compression services 230 may perform data domain compression and decompression of column chunks. For instance, data domain compression may be performed before storing the column chunks in storage and data domain decompression may be performed upon retrieving the column chunks from storage. Transports services 232 may provide services to transfer column chunks between servers. In one embodiment, a low level protocol may be employed upon a TCP/IP protocol stack for sending and receiving column chunks.

There are many applications which may use the present invention for storing large volumes of detailed data over long periods of time. Data mining, segmentation and business intelligence applications are examples among these many applications. FIG. 3 presents a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for storing column chunks among multiple storage servers in the column chunk data store. At step 302, a data table may be partitioned into column chunks. As used herein, a column chunk may mean a column of a data table partitioned using one or more columns as a key. Any type of data table may be partitioned into column chunks. For instance, a large fact table capturing transactions of users logging into a website may be partitioned into column chunks. In one embodiment, the data table may be partitioned into column chunks by performing column-wise partitioning whereby a partition may be specified by a set of columns. In another embodiment, a combination of some data table partitioning technique and column-wise partitioning may be performed. In this embodiment, the data table may be first partitioned into several data tables and then column-wise partitioning may be performed on the resulting data tables to create column chunks. To do so, those skilled in the art will appreciate that a data table may be partitioned into column chunks using any number of partitioning techniques such as range partitioning by specifying a range of value for a partitioning key, list partitioning by specifying a list of values for a partitioning key, hash partitioning by applying hashing to a partitioning key, combinations of these partitioning techniques, and other partitioning techniques known to those skilled in the art.

Once the data table may be partitioned into column chunks, the storage server may distribute the column chunks among multiple storage servers at step 304. For example, the column chunks of the data table may be striped across multiple storage servers. In one embodiment, each column chunk of the data table may be assigned to an available storage server using any assignment method including round robin order. In various embodiments, column chunks of a data table may be striped across multiple storage servers. As used herein, column chunk striping means striping column chunks of a data table across multiple storage servers. Any level of redundancy may be implemented in distributing the column chunks for recovery of one or more failed servers. For example, column chunk parity may be calculated and stored to enable recovery from failure of one server. In an embodiment, a bitwise XOR operation may be performed on two column chunks to create a parity column chunk. Additional bitwise XOR operations may be performed with a parity column chunk and another binary representation of a column chunk to compute a parity column chunk for three column chunks. The resulting parity column chunk may then be assigned to an available server that does not store one of the three column chunks used to make the parity column chunk. In this way, any number of parity column chunks may be calculated and assigned to storage servers for recovery from failure of one or more storage servers. It should be noted that prior to performing a bitwise XOR operation on two column chunks of unequal length, the shorter column chunk may be padded with 0's until it become of equal length with the other column chunk.

Once the distribution of column chunks among the multiple storage servers may be determined, the column chunks may be stored on their assigned servers at step 306. After the column chunks have been stored, processing may be finished for storing column chunks among multiple storage servers in the column chunk data store.

FIG. 4 presents a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for partitioning a data table into column chunks. At step 402, a policy for partitioning the data table into column chunks may be accessed. For example, there may be a policy stored as part of the metadata that may specify how the data table may be partitioned into column chunks and how the column chunks may be distributed among multiple storage servers in the column chunk data store. In one embodiment, the policy may specify the number of partitions into which a column should be divided. In various embodiments, the policy may specify the degree of redundancy of the column chunks for recovery upon failure of one or more storage servers.

Any policy for partitioning the data table may then be applied at step 404 to create the column chunks. In an embodiment, partitioning may be performed on the data table by first partitioning the data table into multiple tables using range partitioning and then partitioning each of the multiple tables by applying column-wise partitioning. In various other embodiments, list partitioning, hash partitioning, or combinations of list, hash, and/or range partitioning may be applied to partition the data table into multiple tables and then column wise partitioning may be subsequently applied to each of the multiple data tables.

Once the column chunks may be created, then data domain compression may be applied to the column chunks at step 406. Data domain compression as used herein may mean applying a compression scheme designed to compress a specific data type. Given that values in a column of a column chunk may usually be the same data type and/or part of a specific data domain, partitioning a data table into column chunks may advantageously allow data in the column chunks to be compressed using a specific domain type compression scheme. For example, if a column of a column chunk may store a date that falls within a narrow range, such as between Jan. 1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2010, the date field may be represented using the number of days since Jan. 1, 2000 rather than using a generic date representation. As another example, consider an address that may typically be stored as a string that may not compress well. By decomposing the address field into several subfields, such as street number, street name, city, state, and zip, each subfield may be represented as a separate sub-column having a specific data type that may compress well. As yet another example, consider an argument list of key-value pairs that may also be typically stored as a string that may not compress well. By decomposing the key-value pairs into separate column chunks, each column chunk may represent values having a specific data type that may compress well. Such compression may be performed using range-based compression of numeric values, decomposing a column chunk including sub-fields into separate column chunks, decomposing a column chunk including key-value pairs into separate column chunks, and so forth. After domain specific compression may be applied to the column chunks, processing for partitioning a data table into column chunks may be finished.

Once data tables may be partitioned, distributed and stored in the column chunks data store, data updating the partitioned data tables may be incrementally imported into the column chunks data store. FIG. 5 presents a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for importing update data to the column chunk data store. At step 502, one or more column chunks may be created for the update data. Depending upon the size of the update data, any number of partitions for creating one or more column chunks for the update data may be determined. For example, one column chunk may be created for the update data; several column chunks may be created for the update data; or the same number of column chunks may be created as the number created for the partitioned data table. As additional update data to the partitioned data table may be incrementally imported into the distributed column chunk store, a column chunk of update data imported previously may be merged with a column chunk of update data being imported, if, for example, the cost of retrieving the column chunks of update data may exceed the cost of merging the column chunks of update data.

Accordingly, the column chunks created for the update data may be then be merged at step 504. In an embodiment, one or more column chunks of update data may be merged with one or more column chunks from a previous data update. After several such merges of column chunks of update data, the size of the column chunks of update data may grow large enough that the input/output cost of transferring the column chunks between storage servers in the column chunk data store may exceed the cost of splitting the column chunks and using those multiple column chunks. When this may occur, the merged column chunks may be split into multiple column chunks in various embodiments. In various other embodiments, one or more column chunks of update data may be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table, if, for example, the cost of retrieving the column chunks of update data may exceed the cost of merging the column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table. After merging, the merged column chunks may be stored at step 506 across multiple storage servers. Once the column chunks have been stored, processing may be finished for importing update data to the column chunk data store.

FIG. 6 presents a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in one embodiment for determining the number of partitions for creating one or more column chunks for the update data. The size of the data update for the partitioned data table may be determined at step 602. In an embodiment, this may be determined by multiplying the size of a row of data in the data table by the number of rows in the data update. It may then be determined at step 604 whether the size of the data update exceeds a predefined threshold. In an embodiment, the predefined threshold may be 20% of the data stored in the column chunks of the partitioned data table. If the size of the data update may not exceed a predefined threshold, then column chunks may be created for the update data at step 606 using a fewer number of partitions than the partitioned data table. In an embodiment, this may be one column chunk. In another embodiment, this may be one-tenth of the number of partitions used for the partitioned data table. In either embodiment, the partition numbers created may be associated with the group of update column chunks so that whenever column chunks of the partitioned data table are retrieved from the column chunk data store, any associated incremental column chunks of update data may be identified and also retrieved.

Returning to step 604 of FIG. 6, if it may be determined that the size of the data update may exceed a predefined threshold, then column chunks may be created for the update data at step 608 using the number of partitions created for the partitioned data table. For instance, there may be many business intelligence and data mining applications where a very large data table may be imported daily that may use the same number of partitions created for the partitioned data table. After creating the column chunks for the update data using the determined number of partitions, processing may be finished for determining the number of partitions for creating one or more column chunks for the update data.

Where the size of the data update may not exceed a predefined threshold, FIG. 7 presents a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in an embodiment for creating column chunks for the update data using a fewer number of partitions than the partitioned data table. At step 702, the number of partitions may be determined for creating column chunks for the update data. Where the update data may be relatively small, one data chunk may be created for the update data in an embodiment. In this case, the column chunk partitions may be determined and stored as part of the data chunk. In another embodiment, the number of partitions for the update data may be a percentage of number of column chunks of the partitioned data table that may be determined by the ratio of the number of rows of update data compared to the average number of rows in a partition of the partitioned data table. For example, if the number of rows of update data may be 25% of the average number of rows in a column chunk of a partitioned data table, then the number of partitions determined for the update data may be 25% of the number of column chunks for the partitioned data table. In another exemplary method the column chunks may be created based on the usage pattern of columns. For example, there may be a few columns of the partitioned data table that are frequently retrieved together for queries and column chunks for update data may be created that include such data in columns frequently retrieved together.

After determining the number of partitions for creating column chunks for the update data, the update data may be partitioned into column chunks at step 704. Typically, the update data may be partitioned into column chunks by using the same method used to create the column chunks of the partitioned data table. For instance, if a data table was partitioned into column chunks using range partitioning and then hash partitioning, then the update data may likewise be partitioned using range partitioning and then hash partitioning. For example, the update data table may first be partitioned in one embodiment by using a date, taken from a column of data that represents a date in the update data, as a key for partitioning the update data. Once the update data has been partitioned by date, then the columns of each partition of update data may then be partitioned by hashing into column chunks. A column key may be chosen to generate a hash and use the resulting hash to partition columns into column chunks. Any hashing may be used such as Message Digest Algorithm 5 (“MD5”), R. J. Cichelli's perfect hash function generation algorithm, or other hashing technique.

Although the update data may typically be partitioned into column chunks by using the same method used to create the column chunks of the partitioned data table, those skilled in the art will appreciate that another method may be used to partition the update data into column chunks. In one embodiment, the update data may be partitioned into column chunks by performing column-wise partitioning whereby a partition may be specified by a set of columns. In another embodiment, a combination of some partitioning technique and column-wise partitioning may be performed. In this embodiment, the update data may be first partitioned into several initial partitions and then column-wise partitioning may be performed on the initial partitions to create column chunks. To do so, any number of partitioning techniques may be used such as range partitioning by specifying a range of values for a partitioning key, list partitioning by specifying a list of values for a partitioning key, hash partitioning by applying hashing to a partitioning key, combinations of these partitioning techniques, and other partitioning techniques known to those skilled in the art.

Once the update data may be partitioned into column chunks, the partition numbers for each column chunk may be then stored at step 706 in a column chunk, so that the partition number for an update column chunk may be looked up when that update column chunk may need to be used. Upon storing the partition numbers in a column chunk, the column chunks may be distributed among multiple storage servers at step 708. Where there may be fewer partitions, or even one data chunk of update data, data mirroring may be used in an embodiment to provide redundancy for the column chunks of update data. In this case, a copy of each column chunk of update data may be assigned to an available storage server that does not store the respective column chunk of update data from which the copy was made. In various embodiments, a storage policy may also be provided that may specify the level of redundancy desired for the update column chunks. If so, then parity of the column chunks may be calculated for the level of redundancy specified in the storage policy and the parity column chunks may be assigned to available storage servers. After the distribution of column chunks of update data among the multiple storage servers may be determined, the column chunks of update data may be stored on their assigned servers at step 710 and processing may be finished for creating column chunks for the update data using a fewer number of partitions than the partitioned data table.

FIG. 8 presents a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in an embodiment for merging column chunks created for the update data. As one or more column chunks may be created during an incremental update of data to the partitioned data table, the column chunks of update data may be merged at step 802 with one or more column chunks of update data previously imported. The column chunks of update data previously imported may have also been previously merged with other column chunks of update data imported during an incremental update of the partitioned data table. At some point, the size of the column chunks of update data may grow large enough that the input/output cost of transferring the column chunks between storage servers in the column chunk data store may exceed the cost of splitting the column chunks. Accordingly, it may then be determined at step 804 whether to split the merged column chunks of update data. In an embodiment, the merged column chunks of update data may be split if the size of a merged column chunk exceeds a predefined size. If it may be determined to split the merged column chunks of update data, then the merged column chunks may be split at step 806. In an embodiment, the merged column chunks may be split using the steps presented in FIG. 7 for creating column chunks for the update data using a fewer number of partitions than the partitioned data table.

It may then be determined at step 808 whether to merge the column chunks created from incremental updates of data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table. If so, then the column chunks created from incremental updates of data may be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table at step 810. In an embodiment, if the cost of retrieving the column chunks of update data may exceed the cost of merging the column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table, then the column chunks of update data may be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table. After merging the column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table, processing may be finished for merging column chunks created for the update data.

FIG. 9 presents a flowchart generally representing the steps undertaken in an embodiment for merging column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table. At step 902, the column chunks of the partitioned data table may be identified for applying changes of each row of update data. In an embodiment, the column chunks for applying the update data may be identified by the key for each row of update data stored in the column chunks of update data. Next, each column chunk of the partitioned data table identified for applying changes of the update data may be decompressed at step 904. Then the changes for each row of update data may be applied to the respective column chunk identified by the key determined from that row of update data. The changes may include adding a row of update data to the partitioned data table, modifying a row of data in the partitioned data table, or deleting a row of data in the partitioned data table.

Upon applying the changes to the column chunks of the partitioned data table, then data domain compression may be applied to the column chunks at step 908. Finally, the column chunks may be stored at step 910 among the multiple storage servers. In an embodiment, the column chunks may use the same assignment made to storage servers when the data table was partitioned and the column chunks were initially distributed. After the column chunks may be stored on their assigned servers, processing may be finished for merging column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned data table.

Thus the present invention may advantageously support importing incremental update data to column chunks of a partitioned data table. As additional update data may be incrementally imported into the distributed column chunk store, a column chunk of update data may be merged with a column chunk of update data previously imported until the column chunk grows to a size where the costs of retrieving the column chunks exceeds the cost of splitting the column chunk. Then the column chunk of update data may be split. When the number of column chunks of update data increases to a point where the costs of retrieving the column chunks of update data exceeds the cost of merging the column chunks of update data with the column chunks of the partitioned table, then the column chunks of update data may be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table. Advantageously, merging of column chunks may be done during system idle time or as part of garbage collection. By supporting such incremental updating of data to the column chunk data store, update data for a data table may be efficiently imported and retrieved for use whenever the data for the respective data table may be retrieved.

As can be seen from the foregoing detailed description, the present invention provides an improved system and method for importing update data into a distributed column chunk data store. Any data table may be flexibly partitioned into column chunks by applying various partitioning methods using one or more columns as a key, including range partitioning, list partitioning, hash partitioning, and/or combinations of these partitioning methods. Furthermore, domain specific compression may be applied to a column chunk to reduce storage requirements of column chunks and decrease transmission delays for transferring column chunks between storage servers. Update data may then be incrementally imported as separate column chunks that may later be merged with the column chunks of the partitioned data table. Such a system and method support storing detailed data needed by data mining, segmentation and business intelligence applications over long periods of time. As a result, the system and method provide significant advantages and benefits needed in contemporary computing, and more particularly in data mining and business intelligence applications.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof are shown in the drawings and have been described above in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification711/173, 711/153, 711/114, 711/221, 711/165, 707/E17.005, 707/999.101, 707/999.202
International ClassificationG06F12/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06F17/30575, Y10S707/99953, Y10S707/99942
European ClassificationG06F17/30S7
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